She arrived in a new country on business. There were both good and bad things that happened.
She was proud of the fact that she was able to navigate the public transportation system and successfully make her way to where she was staying. In addition, there were a bunch of other positive things that happened.
But then her computer died, making doing business on her business trip a bit of a challenge. The yoga class she tried was kind of bizarre and different from what she was used to in The States and she was feeling kind of unsettled amidst the hustle and bustle of this new place.
It was easy and natural for her to classify all the things that were happening into one of two categories. This is a habit you may be familiar with, yes?
Something happens, or doesn't happen and we immediately file it in our minds under the category of good or bad.
Ate healthy breakfast. Good. Got frustrated with the kids. Bad. Checked 5 things off my list of things to do. Good. Didn't get many 'likes' on my Facebook post today. Bad. Made it to the gym. Good. Had trouble focusing on my work today. Bad.
Good / bad has become a system we use for keeping track. But what are we really keeping track of anyway? This is a really important question. One I want you to really think about as you go about your day.
Deciding that things are good or bad has seriously negative consequences.
Whether you're aware of it or not, the real message at play inside this rating system is, "I only deserve to feel good when things go a certain way; when I decide that all the things happening are good."
This is the most dangerous mindset to hold because it will keep you tormented and stuck inside a vicious cycle of never feeling good enough. Inside this way of thinking and rating your life, you'll never get ahead because even if you have small moments of feeling good or proud or successful, you'll bring yourself right back down to feeling shitty every single time something feels bad or like it's not working out.
So what's the solution? How do you deal with all the tough stuff, the stress, the frustration? How do you help yourself when it feels like things aren't going your way?
You decide to stop judging every single thing that happens in your life. Instead, you turn to everything as if it's here to help.
If you're tempted to stop reading right here, I get it. I know this strategy can feel wildly unrealistic and like some crazy woo-woo, nonsense, but I'm not the kind of clinician or person who offers up random, 'let's hope this works', kind of solutions. I only share with you proven principles that work.
In addition, this way of turning to yourself and your life, as if everything is a gift, actually requires a massive amount of strength, courage and persistence. There's nothing easy-breezy, woo-woo, or soft about it. It's a hard core way of living and it holds an unlimited amount of power to help you change the quality of your entire life.
It falls under the category of spiritual gangster, as a way of living.
I'm not expecting you to walk away from reading this note today and suddenly be able to turn to every single thing that happens as if it were the most amazing gift. That would be great, but also pretty unrealistic.
I am hoping, however that you will take this message seriously, by asking yourself the following:
What it is I'm really tracking by rating things good and bad? Where is my rating system really getting me? What value is it bringing to the table? Is it really helping me reach me goals? Am I really getting the results I'm after? Is it helping me feel good in me everyday life? Is it possible that it's blocking me?
Sometimes we're afraid of adopting a new way of looking at things, a new way of being, not because it feels too hard or it seems unrealistic (although this is what we usually tell ourselves), but rather because deep down in places that are often tough to see, we're much more afraid of what would happen if we got to live the life we've always wanted.
This can be really deep, complicated stuff to sort out alone. This also happens to be what I'm an expert in. This is why people come to me. With over 15 years of intense clinical experience and the personal transformation to prove it, I help my clients understand their deeply personal story of deserving that is always at play, effecting every little thing.
It's your story of deserving that determines how rich and fulfilling your life will be.